January 9, 1937– Don Donald is Released to Theaters
Directed by Ben Sharpsteen and featuring Clarence Nash as the voice of Donald and Donna Duck, this short features Donald riding a burro on his way to visit his girlfriend, Donna. Donna greets him with a Mexican Hat Dance – literally dancing on Donald’s large sombrero – which leads to her dancing while riding on the burro. When the burro bucks Donna off, she shows off a temper that is just as bad as Donald’s.
Donna is the first iteration of the character Daisy Duck, who will not appear by that name until the short Mr. Duck Steps Out, released in 1940. She is adventurous and short-tempered: When Donald begins to laugh at her misfortune, Donna not only reacts with the same arm-swinging anger that Donald is known for, but hits him over and over with his guitar, before she smashes it right over his head.
After this altercation with Donna, Donald stumbles upon “El Trading Post” and spies a car with the sign, Will Trade For A Burro. Not one to miss an opportunity, Donald trades the upset burro for the car to impress Donna.
Still fuming, Donna is ready to throw a vase over Donald’s head, until she sees the car he’s driving. She immediately jumps down and kisses him, and urges him to take her for a drive. As they pass by the Trading Post, the burro is crying, and finally he breaks free from his bonds and begins to chase the two, catching up to them as trouble begins.
In the desert, the car sputters and breaks down, in the process throwing Donald out and trapping Donna in the back before it crashes, ejecting her. Donald, once again, makes the mistake of laughing at her misfortune, and she throws the car horn at him. She then pulls a unicycle from her purse and wheels away, leaving Donald alone with a horn in his mouth and the burro laughing at him.
Like many of the beginning shorts of Donald’s career, Clarence Nash’s pronunciation was still a bit unclear, which has sometimes caused censorship problems. A variation of Donald’s catchphrase, “Hiya, toots!” is used here, and is very understandable. Donald would use this catchphrase often, particularly when speaking to Daisy.